4 Jun 2024 16:38

Ukraine sets sugar export record of 108,000 tonnes - Ukrsugar

MOSCOW. June 4 (Interfax) - Ukraine has increased the area under sugar beet by almost 20% to 250,000 hectares during the crisis as a good diversification option for grain producers, acting head of the Ukrsugar National Association of Sugar Producers Board Yana Kavushevskaya said.

"In fact, the industry has demonstrated resilience and has become a salvation for certain farmers who timely shifted from grains to sugar beet," Ukrainian media quoted Kavushevskaya as saying at the Grain Ukraine forum in Kiev.

According to Kavushevskaya, Ukraine sowed sugar beet on 216,000 hectares in 2020. The area has grown almost 20% to 250,000 over the past two years with lands of independent farmers and agrarian companies that chose sugar beet as a source of revenue.

She explained the industry's success with a favorable situation on the global market, where sugar prices had been the highest since 2006. Besides, it was easier for Ukrainian manufacturers to export sugar, compared to grain.

"There were logistic problems. No doubt, sugar producers, same as grain producers, are interested in the opening and normal operation of the Greater Odessa ports. Yet exports on land have also been quite active," Kavushevskaya said.

Another positive factor, which boosted Ukraine's sugar industry, is duty-free trade with the European Union, which has been actively used by Ukrainian producers and helped increase exports, she said.

Speaking of EU limitations on Ukrainian sugar, Kavushevskaya noted resumed sugar exports to both the EU, the Black Sea region and West Africa as a positive factor.

"Ukraine exported practically 65% of sugar to the European Union and 35% to other countries, where our sugar is also in demand, in May. Besides, Ukraine set a record of monthly sugar exports in May: we exported 108,000 tonnes of sugar in 30 days," she said.

Global sugar prices are adjusting, Kavushevskaya said. Financial results of Ukrainian producers may not be as encouraging as before. However, sugar beet will remain among the top three most profitable crops and an alternative to grain for Ukrainian farmers for the third year in a row.